The Mexico Report Announces Real Heroes of Mexico 3rd Edition – Seeks to Increase Positive Image of Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(#RealHeroesOfMexico, @TheMexicoReport)

One-of-a-Kind Initiative Showcases Everyday Heroes in Mexico to Increase Positive Image of Mexico
Real Heroes of Mexico logo

LOS ANGELES – [April 26, 2016] Today The Mexico Report, an internationally recognized travel blog featuring Mexico tourism news, culture and philanthropy, announced its 3rd Edition of the Real Heroes of Mexico awards. In this edition, 31 heroes are recognized with nominations that came in from Mexico, U.S., Canada and beyond. Including this edition, 106 heroes have been showcased since its inception.  (#RealHeroesofMexico) 

“The purpose of the ‘Real Heroes of Mexico’ initiative is to bring awareness to the goodwill efforts and positive, inspirational stories taking place in Mexico today.,” says its creator, Susie Albin-Najera. “These stories typically go untold or unrecognized. Now more than ever, it’s important to showcase a positive image of Mexico and to showcase these heroes and their success stories.” 

Even the top travel magazines in the world are taking note. 

“Your Real Heroes of Mexico program is sensational. Really. What’s great is that the people you highlight are real people. Thank you for bringing to the world the real people, real life, real heroes of Mexico.” John Hillock, Executive Director, Condé Nast Traveler

The Real Heroes of Mexico is a one-of-a-kind initiative (launched in 2012 by The Mexico Report) was created specifically to showcase these everyday heroes and their acts of kindness, commitments, achievements and dedication to communities throughout Mexico. From children, education, health and environmental programs to fundraising efforts in local communities, animal programs and everything in between, 

With each edition of The Real Heroes program, The Mexico Report selects a committee of ambassadors to help champion the cause and encourages the general public to nominate heroes throughout Mexico. For the third edition, ambassadors included Lydia Gregory, Lynne Barstow, Keph Senett, Lisa Coleman and Greg McKinney. 

The MEXICO Report proudly recognizes and congratulates the
3rd Edition of Real Heroes of Mexico, (listed alphabetically by first name):

  1. Alejandra Regalado 
  2. Betty McIntyre
  3. Betty Vázquez 
  4. Bill Spradlin 
  5. Christopher Cordova
  6. Daniel Copto 
  7. Duncan Tonatiuh 
  8. Eduardo Hernandez Perez 
  9. Enrique Lomnitz
  10. Fernando Gaxiola
  11. Flor Franco
  12. Francisco Fimbres 
  13. Gabriela Vargas Romero 
  14. Hilda Pacheco-Taylor 
  15. Izayana
  16. Jan Northenscold
  17. Jane Custer
  18. Javier Plascencia 
  19. John & Rachel Pack
  20. Kay Walten
  21. Kristin & Antonio Díaz de Sandi
  22. Mariana Ocaña 
  23. Martin Romo 
  24. Mike and Becky Spitz 
  25. Nicole Swedlow
  26. Ramiro Reducindo Radilla 
  27. Robert Freund 
  28. Rolly Brook
  29. Sandra Dibble 
  30. Susie Albin-Najera
  31. Ulises Rivera Romero 

(*Note: Entries were nominated in 2014 and 2015 and accurate at the time of submission.)

Please enjoy their stories below:

1. Alejandra Regalado

Website: http://www.alejandraregalado.com/

Location: Long Island City, New York

Nominated/photo submitted by: Andrea Mariana Islas

Alejandra Regalado, Real Heroes of Mexico Recipient

Alejandra Regalado

“Alejandra Regalado has made an invaluable contribution to the international Mexican community. Her project “In Reference To” documents the lives of 500 immigrant women in the United States, exploring issues of cultural identity, femininity, and our relationship with these themes through personal objects. When we leave our country, there is always something we take with us, something that reminds us of who we were and where we come from. Whether it is a picture of our parents or even Mexican candy, the objects we choose to accompany us in our journey are all pieces of ourselves and our motherland. “In Reference To” set out to discover the symbolism of these objects. But, traveling across the United States, Alejandra found much more. She found a story of courage, struggle and success, and of an undying passion for our country. Alejandra Regalado has accomplished the unthinkable – 1000 pictures of immigrant women that go beyond exploring the phenomenon of immigration, 1000 pictures that speak to the world of the beauty of Mexico and the Mexicans. Her work is not only a masterpiece of photography and contemporary art, but also a historical archive of our legacy for future generations.”

2. Betty McIntyre

Location: San Pancho, Nayarit

Nominated/photo submitted by: Karen Puerini-Razza

“Betty, along with Judith Anderson, have made San Pancho a better place by arranging for spay and neuter clinics two times a year for at least 10 to 15 years. They have helped numerous families cope with injured pets with funds raised by their extraordinary efforts. The clinics require a tremendous amount of effort coordinating vets, volunteers housing and food. Their tireless effort has resulted in a significant drop in animal population over the years. This make less starving sick animals in the pueblo and helps native populations of birds, lizards, etc. have a much better survival rate. Not to mention sanitation issues like less excrement for visitors and children and towns folk to have to deal with. These ladies are hard-working, dedicated unsung heroes!”

 

3. Betty Vázquez

Twitter: @chef_betty

Location: San Blas, Nayarit

Nominated/photo submitted by: Lydia Gregory

Photo credit: Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau

Chef Betty Vasquez

Chef Betty Vázquez

“Chef Betty Vazquéz’s training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and her work under Juan Mari Arzak taught her to create recipes that reflect her love for her home in San Blas and appreciation for the dishes of other countries. She fuses Mexico’s ancient traditions with the contemporary and feels “the first sight of the dish has to move something in your heart, then your nose.” When she was added to the Mexican State Department’s list of Top Chefs, she assured the recognition wasn’t just hers, but for the entire region of Nayarit. She sees the big picture and wants to help establish a series of Gastronomic Routes in Mexico that would put it on par with the culinary tourism powerhouses of France and Spain. She is a leader in generating sustainable communities by helping train local residents, encouraging job growth and using locally sourced foods for her restaurant, El Delfín.”

 

Bill Spradlin and Lupita-and-children

Bill Spradlin, Lupita and children

4. Bill Spradlin

Organization: Casa de Fe (Home of Faith)

Website: www.casadefesf.com 

Location: San Felipe, Baja California

Nominated/photo submitted by: Greg McKinney

Photo credit: Michael Miles

“Bill and Carole Spradlin came to San Felipe in 2003 to build their dream home. Bill, a building contractor from San Diego, California, soon saw a greater need and felt a calling to help the children of San Felipe. A man of great faith, he learned who to contact in the Mexican government, and working within the system, began building an orphanage in 2008. The first children arrive in 2009. Sadly, Carole Spradlin passed away in November of 2011. It was a heartbreaking setback, but Bill persevered. Lupita, came into the house to work at Casa de Fe. The children called her “Tia” and eventually, Bill and Lupita found that they lived in a house of faith and love. They are happily married now and the house now has 11 girls, ages 2 to 13 and a boy’s dormitory is being built. Bill came to Mexico to build a dream home…and did…for many, many children.”

 

Christopher Cordova

Christopher Cordova

5. Christopher Córdova

Organization: Pides International (Plataforma Integral de Desarrollo Sustentable)

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nominated/photo submitted by: Alejandra de la O. 

“He has worked for more than 10 years on his project empowering young people in order to make a difference in the world. Each project he start becomes a success in any field.”

 

6. Daniel Copto

Organization: Street Soccer Mexico

Website: http://www.streetsoccermexico.org 

Twitter: @StreetSoccerMX

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nominated/photo submitted by: Keph Senett

Photo credit: Daniel Copto

Daniel Copto

Daniel Copto (right, white shirt)

“Daniel Copto started Street Soccer Mexico in 2007, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of individuals in marginalized communities. It uses football as a catalyst for social change. In 2009, the organization started receiving funding to travel to other states. It relies on donations and sponsorships, and was the host street soccer organization for the 2012 Homeless World Cup.

In this photo, Copto (right, in the white shirt) is seen with Homeless World Cup founder Mel Young (with his hand in the air). 

 

 

7. Hero: Duncan Tonatiuh

Website: www.duncantonatiuh.com 

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Nominated/photo submitted by: Mitchell Kahan

Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh

“Duncan Tonatiuh is a hero of modern Mexico through the vehicle of art and children’s books. Born in Mexico City, raised in San Miguel de Allende, bilingual and educated in both Mexico and the U.S., he is at home in both cultures. He has used this vantage point to help Americans better understand their often misunderstood neighbor to the south. He does this by writing and illustrating children’s books. His style is inspired by Mixtec and Aztec codices, updated in a way that is understandable and enjoyable for a youthful contemporary audience. This award-winning author has been publishing with Abrams Inc. since his graduation from art school. As if his highly original visual style was not enough to distinguish him, Duncan also has been a pacesetter by presenting crucially important social and political issues in children’s books: cultural difference, migration, family ties as well as separation of families, the role of art in today’s world, and discrimination against Mexicans in the U.S. Even with such potentially difficult subjects, he makes his books exciting for kids, engaging them visually, emotionally and intellectually. Duncan’s books have the potential to change for the better Mexican-American relations by influencing a new generation of parents and children.”

 

Eduardo Hernandez Perez

Eduardo Hernandez Perez

8. Eduardo Hernandez Perez

Organization: Casa de la Francofonia en Mexico

Website: http://www.clubcafme.org 

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nominated/photo submitted by: Luis Flores

“Eduardo has been working with French-speaking developing countries to create new networks and ways to help each other. Wonderful father, husband, sibling, son and friend. He is always looking to help and improve methods to make a better world.”

 

9. Enrique Lomnitz

Organization: www.islaurbana.org

Twitter: @IslaUrbana

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nominated/photo submitted by: Vivian Lampell Olmos

“Enrique is addressing an enormous problem that affects mega regions across the globe: lack of water. By teaching people to capture and treat rainwater, he is empowering ordinary citizens to solve their own scarcity of water issues. He is to be congratulated for going out into the field to find solutions to a 21st Century problem.”

 

Fernando Gaxiola

Fernando Gaxiola

10. Fernando Gaxiola 

Organization: Baja Wine Food

Location: San Diego and Valle de Guadalupe

Website: www.bajawinefood.com

Location: Valle de Guadalupe and San Diego

Nominated by: Susie Albin-Najera

Fernando has an unmatched passion for promoting the best of Valle de Guadalupe, Baja’s wine region and all of it’s offerings including the top-notch culinary scene. He curates original itineraries for travelers, foodies and Baja loving A-listers. 

 

Fernando Gaxiola, Flor Franco, Rick Najera, Angelica Valle

Fernando Gaxiola, Flor Franco, Rick Najera, Angelica Valle

11. Flor Franco

Location: San Diego and Baja California

Nominated by: Susie Albin-Najera

I met Chef Flor Franco a few years back when she was a featured chef at a fundraising event for WiLDCOAST’s Baja Bash, a coastal preservation organization.The aromas, flavors and style of her food were enough to give anyone a flavorful and favorable impression. What impressed me the most about her was that she included her youngest son as part of the process from beginning to end. Flor was named one of San Diego’s most interesting people of 2015 and has her hand in many successful catering and farm-fresh, sustainable culinary ventures.

 

Francisco Fimbres (photo Facebook)

Francisco Fimbres (photo Facebook)

12. Francisco Fimbres

Organization: Brands, Strategies & Graphics designer

Website:https://about.me/franciscofimbres

Location: Tijuana, Mexico

Nominated by: Susie Albin-Najera

Francisco Fimbres first came to my attention in 2014 when I was putting together a Happy video compilation for my work in travel. Compiling a list of Mexico destinations who had produced a Happy video, I searched YouTube and found the Happy Tijuana video that he created and directed (direction, photography & editing: Katia Nabil Ruelas). Watching it not only gave me so much joy seeing Tijuana being showcased as a destination and home to many, but I appreciated the time it took to create a video showcasing all of the positive attributes about this city, its people and rich culture. Thank you for showcasing the positive and highlighting the happy in Tijuana.

 

13. Gabriela Vargas Romero

Organization: Cultiva Ciudad

Website: http://www.cultivaciudad.com/

Twitter: @cultivaciudadMX 

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Nominated by: Julie Schwietert Collazo

“Gabriela is the founder and director of Mexico City’s Cultiva Ciudad, a non-profit that develops community gardens around the capital. The organization has created more than 30 gardens around the city. The project that impresses me the most is Huerto Tlatelolco, a community garden in Tlatelolco, which has suffered so much over the years- from the 1968 student massacre there to the 1985 earthquake that leveled so much of the community. To me, this particular garden epitomizes the work Gabriela does with Cultiva- she realizes that it’s not just creating community gardens that’s important: it’s where they’re put and how and with whom that will ultimately make the difference.”

 

Hilda Pacheco-Taylor

Hilda Pacheco-Taylor

14. Hilda Pacheco-Taylor

Organization: Corazon de Vida Foundation

Website: www.corazondevida.org 

Twitter: @CorazondeVida

Location: Orange County, CA

Nominated/photo submitted by: Andrew McReynolds

“Hilda founded one the largest non-profit organizations of its kind that saves the lives of orphaned children in Baja, Mexico. For more than 20 years she continues to lead the organization.”

 

Izayana

Izayana

15. Izayana

Organization: Club Koala Daycare Ludoteca

Website: http://www.koalakidscare.com 

Location: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Nominated/photo submitted by: Dani

Photo credit: Camila Quinto

“Izayana created this great social and educational program for kids that focuses on business.  The organization has grown over the years because of its goal of love and compassion that they offer the families involved.  The staff is great and they make it an educational innovative experience where everyone learns and grows. She is always giving back what she learned and loves helping others. Many girls, and people in general, see her as a role model and an inspiration and ask for advice or help.”

 

Jan Northenscold

Jan Northenscold

16. Jan Northenscold

Organization: Playa Animal Rescue 

Website: www.playaanimalrescue.org 

Twitter: @playaanimal

Location: Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

Nominated/photo submitted by: Marhu Barreto

“Jan, her husband and all the team at Playa Animal Rescue (PAR) have been doing an incredible job helping street dogs and other animals. She and her team also educate people on how to treat the animals and find good homes. Jan is always trying to find funds to help as many dogs as possible, creating a great community of both expats and locals in Playa del Carmen who join her. I´ve had the opportunity of working with her and she really looks forward to educating people and giving love to all of those who are in need.”

 

17. Jane Custer

Organization: www.vozmaya.com  

Location: Ajijic, Jalisco

Nominated/photo submitted by: Lisa Coleman

Photo credit: Voz Maya

Jane Custer, Voz Maya

Jane Custer, Voz Maya

“Jane Custer has been a force in Mexico for decades. Jane and her husband, Greg, are the founders of Destination Ventures and have been trailblazers in travel agent education about Mexico. Jane has been traveling to Mexico for more than 40 years and has a profound love for the country and its people. When she first told me about VozMaya (Voice Maya) and showed me the flashcards, I knew it was an amazing project. She told me the idea had been in heart for decades, but it took a long time to make the dream come true. Jane wanted to give the Maya and their glorious ancestry “a voice” and help keep the language and culture alive…And VozMaya was born. This extraordinary deck of 32 cards has beautiful artwork on the front of each displaying a Maya object with the associated word in Maya and phonetic pronunciation in English. On the back, that same word is shown in Spanish with phonetic pronunciation, then in English, then a cultural description of the word and what it meant to the Mayas. Jane has always had an impact on Mexico and VozMaya is an extraordinary way to help keep the Maya culture alive and well. The profits from VozMaya are shared with the native the people of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Jane is one of my heroes for all she has done for Mexico throughout her career, and she’s a hero to the remaining Maya people who still thrive in the Yucatán.”

 

The Mexico Report 's Susie Albin-Najera with Chef Javier Plascencia

Chef Javier Plascencia (with The Mexico Report ‘s Susie Albin-Najera)

18. Javier Plascencia

Location: Tijuana, Valle de Guadalupe, San Diego

Twitter: @JavPlascencia

Chef Javier Plascencia first came to my attention from an article I read years ago in the San Diego Union Tribune written by Sandra Dibble. She had highlighted his talents in a way that seemed to ease travelers back to Tijuana and encouraged readers to experience its accelerating culinary scene. From that moment, Javier’s celebrity chef status (and good looks) grew exponentially. I finally met Javier at a culinary event in San Diego and went on to know him better as a chef, entrepreneur and visionary (and overall awesome person). He has since garnered dozens of awards and accolades for his cuisine, restaurants and culinary talents, including a nomination for a James Beard Award. 

 

Rachel and John Peck, Baja Good Life Club

Rachel and John Peck, Baja Good Life Club

19. John & Rachel Pack

Organization: www.bglclub.com 

Twitter: @TheBajaClub 

Location: San Felipe, Baja California

Nominated/photo submitted by: Caitlin Tierra

Photo credit: Tim Sanchez

“These two people have been working harder for Mexico than anyone I’ve known. I think what they do is motivating and sometimes hard to believe they actually do all they do. Their book, Baja Good Life, is filled with everything you need to know to live the good life in Mexico.”

 

20. Kay Walten

Organization: Loco Gringo

Website: www.locogringo.com 

Twitter: @LocoGringoCom 

Location: Akumal, Quintana Roo

Nominated/photo submitted by: Nicola Inwood

Kay Walten

Kay Walten

“Loco Gringo has been an advocate of local travel, local communities and local tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula for more than 20 years. They have produced community events, supported community events, and advocated for increased tourism to the area since 1994. Through thick and through thin, during natural disasters, emergency situations and low economic times, Loco Gringo has continued to find creative ways on the ground, on the internet, and through changing technology to connect new people to tourism businesses and communities. Their passion has always been fueled by one mission, to support the economic, cultural, and human potential of the Caribbean coast. Their contributions are hard to list in one essay, but their continued enthusiasm for Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and the Costa Maya has impacted the area. They were thought leaders in 1994 when they build the first website that connected visitor to the area and continue to be thought leaders in 2014. Kay and Gary Walten are explorers and travel educators who just keep giving back to people and cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. They deserve and warrant recognition for their ongoing support of the area and can list for themselves all the projects in which they have been involved.”

 

Kristin & Antonio Díaz de Sandi

Kristin & Antonio Díaz de Sandi

21. Kristin & Antonio Díaz de Sandi

Organization: http://www.lifeandfoodblog.com 

Twitter: @lifefoodblog

Location: San Diego, CA

Nominated/photo submitted by: Cynthia Merino

“I fell in love with Life & Food blog more than a year ago while researching gourmet, artisan products from Mexico. At the time, I was apprehensive about traveling south of the border and had not visited for years. Their blog is truly inspirational. I have since planned several trips based on their explorations, advice and spirit of adventure. This couple truly loves the food, life and culture of Mexico and as a reader, I feel so blessed that they share their experiences with the rest of us. Everyone I have shared this blog with has fallen in love with it, planned trips and visited some of the wonderful places Kristin and Antonio have highlighted in their blog. They are champions in driving tourism to Tijuana, Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe and beyond.”

 

Mariana Ocaña

Mariana Ocaña

22. Mariana Ocaña

Organization: LeSVOZ

Location: https://www.facebook.com/lesvoz 

Nominated/photo submitted by: Keph Senett

“Mariana Ocaña is the Directora at LeSVOZ, a non-profit magazine that promotes human rights and combats lesbophobia and misogyny in Mexican society. The LeSVOZ non-profit was founded in 1994, with the magazine running since 1996. In addition to creating editorial content around these issues, Mariana runs an annual football tournament and a basketball tournament for lesbians. Operating without funding, she secures a venue and uses volunteers to provide a one-day sporting event every year.”

 

23. Martín Romo

Organization: Playa Clean

Website: http://sanfelipe.com.mx/tag/playa-clean/ 

Location: San Felipe, Baja California

Nominated/photo submitted by: Greg McKinney

“Martin Romo moved to San Felipe in 1988. Some time later, he and his family were swimming near the restaurant when they were startled by the amount of trash washing up on shore. Martin took his family home and returned that same day to begin cleaning up the beach. He has been doing just that and more ever since. In 2008, he began the Playa Clean program. Working in the schools to educate the children about keeping the Sea of Cortez and San Felipe clean; using his own money and what donations come his way, he has gathered support from local residents and “extranjeros” to bring equipment, supplies and work parties together to change the attitudes of the people, bringing beauty back to San Felipe’s seashore. In 2012, he began “San Felipe United” with local business leaders and again, his tireless work ethic has spread to projects all throughout town. Painting, planting, repairing and always preparing to do more, he has shown us all what one man’s commitment to public service can achieve. Playa Clean and San Felipe United have revitalized San Felipe and given the next generation a wonderful example to follow. If you would like more information about how to get involved with these programs, to donate or to volunteer your time, please contact Martin at his restaurant, Rosita’s on the north end of the malecon.”

 

24. Mike and Becky Spitz

Organization: Vida Outreach

Website: http://vidaoutreach.org/about/ 

Location: Tijuana, Baja California

Nominated/photo submitted by: Daynara Castillo

Mike and Becky Spitz

Mike and Becky Spitz

“Mike and Becky Spitz, are a young couple that dedicate their life to outreach ministries under Vida Outreach in Baja California. They met while in College, and Becky is originally from Baja California and Mike is from San Diego County. As a married couple they run a non-profit that serve the rural areas of Mexico and depend on partnerships of local leaders, churches and volunteers to help transform communities in Mexico through outreach and education. I had the pleasure to meet them during a fundraiser held in San Diego and taken back to my early years when I also participated in mission trips. Love, hope, Faith and an opportunity for an education are the foundations for a brighter today and tomorrow…Mike and Becky Spitz are Real Heroes of Mexico”

 

25. Nicole Swedlow

Organization: entreamigos

Website: http://entreamigos.org.mx/ 

Twitter: @entreamigos_ngo

Location: San Francisco (San Pancho), Nayarit

Nominated/photo submitted by: Judi MacGregor Levens

“With her own personal energy and vision, Nicole has activated a whole community to improve the education and living quality in a small Mexican town…this includes scholarships for the children, jobs for their parents, a huge recycling effort (including the large building entreamigos occupies) and exposure to so many arts, crafts, aspects of life that are not normally available to small town children. She was also recently recognized by the Dalai Lama as one of his “Unsung Heroes” for her work.”

 

25-A. Nicole Swedlow

Nominated/photo submitted by: Ascha

“She has inspired so many with her endless energy and desire to help the community, but especially the children of San Pancho, Nayarit. She started entreamigos and it is now world-class. She deserves recognition.”

25-B. Nicole Swedlow

Nominated/photo submitted by: Chris King

“Nicole created a organization for the benefit of the children of San Pancho (San Francisco) Nayarit, which started with raising funds for children from families that couldn’t afford uniforms. She started it approximately 10 years ago and at this time has eight students in college. She is responsible for the creation of the recycling program in San Pancho, which is being copied by surrounding pueblos.  Her organization, in cooperation with Cirque du Soleil, holds performances using the kids of the town to present their version of the circus. Nicole has been an inspiration to nationals and foreign visitors alike, to raise awareness toward the environment and social needs. She received the Unsung Heroes Award, presented by the Dalai Lama in San Francisco, California.”

 

Ramiro Reducindo Radilla

Ramiro Reducindo Radilla

26. Ramiro Reducindo Radilla

Organization: Todo Santos Box

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Todos-Santos-Box/211810125558906 

Location: Todos Sandos, Baja California Sur

Nominated/photo submitted by: Christine Sperber

“Ramiro is a Mexican Boxing Champ who has been training our local kids, basically for free, for the last few years. It has not been easy on Ramiro or his family, as he lives an hour away in La Paz and drives to Todos Santos several times per week to train and inspire the kids. He stuck with the program because of his deep belief in the potential of the kids. Ramiro is also the face of our local trash clean up and education program, Knockout Basura. The Todos Santos Box members join him in a monthly town clean up. Many of these kids care about fitness and nutrition for the first time, and are seeing success locally, regionally and we even expect to have national potential- all because one man believed and was willing to give of himself. He’s is certainly a hero to me.”

 

27. Robert Freund

Organization: www.mexicantextiles.com 

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Nominated by: Stephanie Schneiderman

“Due to globalization and homogenization, cultural diversity and cultural expressions are at risk. Recognizing this, Bob Freund has made it his mission to document the last or disappearing textile and dress traditions throughout Mexico. By visiting the communities and documenting, interviewing, photographing the people, textiles and dress made and worn, Bob has created an archive that helps educate and promote the textile traditions and their importance as a key expression / manifestation of culture, one that makes each ethnic group in Mexico unique. From the Nahua, Otomi, Mazahua, Totonac, Purepecha, Chinanteco, Mazateco, Triqui, Cora, Yucatecan Maya, Highland Maya and many, many more ethnic groups of Mexico (close to 60), Bob is a great contributor to the bank of knowledge and legacy of Mexico’s original people. Traveling many kilometers in inclement weather on mountainous roads to very remote villages in Mexico’s hinterland, Bob has done this all on his own time and dollar. He had a brush with death, as he had an injury that became infected and he was nine hours by car from the nearest town. Bob Freund is a true unsung Hero of Mexico. Many people, including myself, refer to his bank of work: photos, maps, descriptions, for our research and edification and enlightenment. We would all be poorer in spirit and less knowledgeable about Mexico’s heritage and living cultures, if it weren’t for Bob Freund. He is admired and respected by many, and is a voice for the 1 million people in Mexico of indigenous origin, Mexico’s original people.”

 

Rolly Brook

Rolly Brook

28. Rolly Brook

Organization: www.rollybrook.com 

Location: Lerdo, Durando

Nominated/photo submitted by: Richard Grabman

“Rolly is an institution among Mexico-based foreign bloggers. A retired engineer with no Spanish, he was “adopted” by a former employee who moved him to Mexico, integrating Rolly into a community a bit off the gringo trail. Rolly has written more about how to adjust to Mexico than anyone, and has been more than generous in sharing his experiences and insights with both newcomers and visitors, providing practical and honest information that has been a part of any Mexican migrant or expat’s survival tool-kit over the last 15+ years.”

28-A. Rolly Brook

Nominated/photo submitted by: Tony Burton

“No single person has offered so much sage advice about moving to, and living in, Mexico as Rolly Brook. Rolly is an institution, a veritable fount of reliable information about the nitty-gritty details of relocating to Mexico and of the nit-picking details of car ownership, paperwork legalities, etc. etc, etc. His website covers the basics, and Rolly’s contributions over many years to MexConnect forums (and forums of other sites) have provided tens of thousands of people with honest, straightforward responses to hundreds and hundreds of queries. If anyone deserves to be called a Real Hero, it is Rolly.”

 

Sandra Dibble

Sandra Dibble

29. Sandra Dibble

Organization: San Diego Union-Tribune

Website: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/staff/sandra-dibble/

Twitter: @sandradibble 

Location: San Diego, CA

Nominated by Susie Albin-Najera

“Sandra has been writing about Baja, Mexico and the border for more than two decades at the UT and I have always enjoyed reading her work. As a multilingual writer, reporter and journalist, Sandra is always at the forefront of news, politics, culture, events, openings and multicultural topics. (And according to  her  bio, she spent three years at The National Geographic, where assignments included writing feature articles about Paraguay and Oaxaca. Born in Egypt, raised in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, Sandra is well-traveled and I appreciate all of her hard work covering border news including Mexico tourism updates.”

 

30. Susie Albin Najera

Organization: The Mexico Report

Website: www.themexicoreport.com

Twitter: @themexicoreport

Location: Los Angeles, CA 

Nominated by Dr. Alma Martinez

“I was born in Mexico but raised in the U.S. since the age of one. Regardless of this, Mexico is close to my heart because I was raised in its culture, history and tradition. Susie’s keen writing, her intellect and the subjects she writes about fulfill perfectly my U.S. and Mexican sensibilities. She is very deserving of this recognition which I am confident will inspire her to continue writing at the highest levels. Susie is a perfect candidate!”

 

31. Ulises Rivera Romero

Location: Zihuatanejo, Guerrero

Nominated/photo submitted by: Karen Pansky

“I volunteer for Bicycles for Humanity in Calgary Alberta Canada. We collected 594 childrens bicycles that were donated by the Canadian public. We had a fundraiser and raised the money to ship a 40 ft container into Mexico to the Colony of Buenos Aires in Zihuatanejo. My partner Ulises, organized a place to unload the container, created a team to help unload the container, worked with my logistics and customs to aid in tax exemption status and will be distributing the bikes to school children that attend Octavio Paz school in his community. If it were not for his help, that community would not be receiving the gifts of bicycles. He is someone who needs to be recognized for his amazing commitment and energy he has volunteered. When we visit Zihuatanejo, we also bring 200-300 lbs of school supplies. He has also helped us deliver these supplies to the schools in his community.”

 

The Mexico Report would like to thank ALL of the Real Heroes of Mexico and the millions of heroes in Mexico that are yet to be discovered!

View 2nd edition of the Real Heroes of Mexico

View 1st edition of the Real Heroes of Mexico

About the Real Heroes of Mexico

Susie Albin-Najera, editor/creator of The Mexico Report and Real Heroes of Mexico

Susie Albin-Najera, editor/creator of The Mexico Report and Real Heroes of Mexico

The Real Heroes of Mexico project was created in 2012 by Susie Albin-Najera, creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an internationally recognized blog showcasing travel news, culture and philanthropy. The project was launched in order to showcase the unseen, unknown champions of Mexico, the unsung heroes in the community and those celebrating Mexican culture through their goodwill efforts, bravery, inspirational stories, sacrifices and hard work.

Website: www.themexicoreport.com
Twitter: @TheMexicoReport
Instagram: @TheMexicoReport
Facebook: TheMexicoReport
C
ontact: themexicoreport@yahoo.com 

 

1 comment for “The Mexico Report Announces Real Heroes of Mexico 3rd Edition – Seeks to Increase Positive Image of Mexico

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *